The Concept of Piety (Taqwa)

             What has been said about faith and righteousness is generally true of piety. Again, it is not a matter of convenient claims and oral confessions. It is much more serious. As always, the Qur’an is our best source, and when it speaks of the pious it describes them as those who believe in the Unseen (which is taught by God), are steadfast in prayer, and spend of what We have provided for them; and who believe in the Revelation sent to you (Muhammad), and sent before your time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on true guidance from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper (Qur’an, 2:3-5). The pious are those who spend (freely in the way God) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all men; - for God loves those who do good; and those who – having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls – earnestly bring God into mind, and ask for forgiveness  for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except God? – and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, - an eternal dwelling. How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)! (Qur’an, 3:134-136).

             In these verses we find that piety requires a proper use of the mind by grasping truth of God and life, a proper use of wealth by spending in the way of God under all circumstances and a proper use of the spiritual as well as the physical abilities of man by observing the prayer. It also demands a high degree of self – control over one’s anger and emotions, a moral capacity for forgiveness and patience, and conscious urge to make the sinner return to God in regret and repentance. To be pious is to be a man of true and fine convictions, of determination and character, of will and courage and, above all, to be a man of God. Piety, righteousness and meaningful Faith are interrelated and all pour into one channel. They lead to Islam and build up the true Muslim.


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